When I am out and about with all three of my kids I usually get unsolicited observations.

Wow. You have your hands full.

You must be busy!

Nothing like stating the obvious to grate on my nerves. A glimpse into my life, from our trip to Seattle:

This pretty much sums up my life

Life with three kids is busy. Life with any number of kids is busy. I do not claim to have the Queen of Busy as my title. I just try to get through the chaos without imploding. Or exploding.

My weeks are filled with driving Graham to and from school five days a week, driving Nathan to and from preschool two times a week, groceries, appointments, errands, Mom’s group…

I also have work to do. So does Matthew.

We know full well what a superb setup that we have over here. When he has work to do, I put on my cape and pretend to be Supermom (Pretend being the operative word).

If I have work to do, he is Daddy Daycare.

Emily likes to make “pancakes” out of sand and serve them up. With “butter” and “syrup”, of course.

Those of us who are at home each day sit down to eat lunch and dinner together. Apart from meal times, one of us is working and the other one is parenting (Which is also working. Just not for pay.)

Saturdays are still a busy day for me with my accounting gig, but at least Matthew doesn’t have to field phone calls. He will often putter in the yard while the kids play around him. Sometimes he will either load them on the ATV (For a short trip to the creek), or into the 4Runner (For a longer trip exploring other areas out here in the sticks).

I work as fast as I possibly can in order that we can at least have some time in the late afternoon/early evening to hang out as a complete family unit. Now that it is getting colder/darker, this usually involves colouring at the table/watching a movie together/ having tickle-fests on our bed.

Sunday afternoons is when the word “Busy” is a curse word. Everyone knows that cursing on Sundays is frowned upon.

After Emily’s nap we try to do something outside. TOGETHER. My kids love to be outside, as do Matthew and I. (OK. I only like it when it’s not FREEZING, but still.)

This past Sunday Matthew and the kids took me to a place they had found on a previous Saturday while I was working. A mere ten minutes away from here are a bunch of concrete foundations in the middle of a tree-lined field.  The history books tell us that there used to be a settlement (Many moons ago), that included a post office, a school, and some other buildings.

Someone lived here. Neat.

We wandered down an old dirt road.

Sigh.

The road went over the “Once in Awhile” creek.

It is called this because it only runs…wait for it…once in awhile.

There was this big pile of stones.

I really hope it wasn’t a grave site.

We found a ginormous ant hill.

I kept my distance.

We wandered through the trees for awhile.

Matthew thought that this one looked like half of a heart.

I went looking for some colour to photograph, and found some specimens of nature clinging to life.

As you know, I like red.

Poor solitary berry.

Water droplets are fun.

I thought I’d look for a new colour.

Red and green! Christmas colours!  Only forty-nine days…

While I looked for colour, the kids played with sticks.

That was his “avoid the camera” technique.

Stinker.

Emily was a little excited abut her stick.

I’ve been sleeping with one eye open ever since I took that shot.

I need these breaks from the hamster-wheel of life that is Monday through Saturday. Sundays are a day for me to unplug, unwind, and recharge. Our family needs the down time in order to prepare for the week ahead, and we all need that time for the five of us to connect and enjoy each others’ company.

Because we do. Enjoy each others’ company, that is. This is a good thing as we will be together for the rest of our lives.

When we are in the trenches of our chaotic life during the week, Sunday puts it all into perspective. I may be up to my limit in what I can handle but I know I can push through because Sunday is coming.

What do you like to do to give yourself (and or your family) a “time out”?

*OK. This is getting weird. I wrote this post and then dug through my archives to find the post from a year ago today: Life In The Sticks: Episode Three. You would think that I was doing this on purpose, but I am not. Weird.

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Comments:

  1. Kimber November 6, 2008 5:30 am edit

    Looks like you live in a beautiful place. We live in the “sticks” as well. I love it here. My kids have so much room to just roam and adventure.

    Kimber’s last blog post..I Can’t Breathe

  2. witchypoo November 6, 2008 5:48 am edit

    A stick! Oh, boy, throw away my Barbies now. Love it.

    witchypoo’s last blog post..I Want Hope

  3. joyce November 6, 2008 6:06 am edit

    “I’ve been sleeping with one eye open ever since I took that shot” – I laughed out loud for real.

    You’ve got a beautiful family that you capture so perfectly in pictures.

    As for “time outs”…lately we go on a family walk after dinner, weather permitting. It’s not as relaxing as it sounds…there is usually a lot of getting my arm pulled out of it’s socket from the dog, and having to repeatedly wait for Hudson to adjust his hat and mitts so they are just right.

    joyce’s last blog post..A post about nothing really…

  4. Holly November 6, 2008 6:29 am edit

    It’s hard to find that one day or one section of time to be a family. Ever since the chaos of everything being open all the time and everyone working all the time, the ability to spend QUALITY time with the people you love seems to be dwindling. We need to wake up and pay attention to that and do something about it. Nice post :)

    Holly’s last blog post..Survey Says?

  5. Claire November 6, 2008 6:31 am edit

    Yes, some weeks feel like this never-ending cycle of wake up, work, dinner, sleep. On weekends if we find time, the three of us go to the park early so that Elliot can walk around (best he can for a 14 month old) on the playground before the big kids get there. Because he loves being outside, it’s a nice quiet moment for my husband and I to sit and watch him explore the playground equipment and we can actually have a conversation. How novel!

    Claire’s last blog post..HOPE

  6. Sue @ My Party of 6 November 6, 2008 7:38 am edit

    That second picture (Emily’s “kitchen”) is about the sweetest thing ever!! And I so envy your rural life. Where we live is very urban, which has it’s advantages, but I think it adds to the rush and bustle of life. We don’t have a specific “time out” during the week. But we need to get one!

    Sue @ My Party of 6′s last blog post..I can see the floor again

  7. sizzle November 6, 2008 8:47 am edit

    The picture of Emily with the stick and your commentary is hilarious.

    sizzle’s last blog post..Make It Not True

  8. monstergirlee November 6, 2008 9:46 am edit

    Quality family time – I strive for it every weekend. Sometimes its just me taking both kids grocery shopping – lame I know but I try to make it fun. And the weather this time of year does not help. Great pix! Looks like fun.

    monstergirlee’s last blog post..Primary Colors

  9. hillary November 6, 2008 9:49 am edit

    Your photos are gorgeous, Angella. I especially love the one of the Once in a While creek.

    I am not so good at taking time outs. I tend to go go go until I make myself sick and then am forced to chill out. I’m working on changing that.

    hillary’s last blog post..Is This Your Ideal Waste Of Time?

  10. Sharon November 6, 2008 10:14 am edit

    Hee! I love all the pictures, especially the one of Miss Emily and the stick. I would be sleeping with one eye open too!

    When I was a kid, we’d go for hikes, play board games, or watch a movie together. When my brother and I were smaller, my Dad would read aloud from a book to us. There are several pictures of us all curled up together on a couch, with my Dad reading us one of the Narnia books, or other classics that we loved. Those times were really special.

    Sharon’s last blog post..Daddy’s little girl

  11. Mrs. Wilson November 6, 2008 11:23 am edit

    I cannot think of a better way to spend a Sunday. I’m trying to convince Noah that it’s a good idea to DITCH FOOTBALL on Sunday so that we can go on Family adventures. It’s our only day off as a family as well. Unfortunately, it’s getting kind of cold, so the football is okay because we have to stay inside anyway.

    In that second picture, it looks as if your family is in front of a backdrop – is that a hill in the background? It honestly looks fake. (Obviously it’s not, but still.) Kind of weird.

    Mrs. Wilson’s last blog post..NaBloPoMo Day 5: T-minus 50 days and counting

  12. angella November 6, 2008 11:25 am edit

    Now that you say that, it does look like a backdrop…maybe because I focused on them and the aperture I used made the background blurry…

    That’s our yard, though. It is where plastic toys come to die.

  13. Meg November 6, 2008 11:36 am edit

    I love that first pic of Matthew and the kids. It’s so cute, especially cuz Matthew is in a chair that is just a little too small for him :D

    Meg’s last blog post..Someone else’s post.

  14. ali November 6, 2008 11:51 am edit

    i wish we could unwind on sundays…but usually i’m shuttling children back and forth to birthday parties the entire day. haha.

  15. Belindalouwho November 6, 2008 11:57 am edit

    The beach is our escape for family time, especially along the coast of Big Sur (we like to stop and check out all the campsites along the way!). SuperFun and SuperRelaxing!

    Belindalouwho’s last blog post..Aptos/Seascape Day of Fun

  16. Trenches of Mommyhood November 6, 2008 12:02 pm edit

    Found you thru Madame Bossy. I can easily identify as I have 3 boyz under the age of 7! Love your photography.

    Trenches of Mommyhood’s last blog post..Nature vs. Nurture

  17. orlund November 6, 2008 12:58 pm edit

    I love at looking at where people once lived especially like that where nothing has been setup or fixed. Nothing to tell you what happened there but your imagination.

    Although I still like sites like O’keefe Ranch and Parkerville.

    orlund’s last blog post..Baby Dedication

  18. Kami November 6, 2008 1:15 pm edit

    Great shots! My aunt from Vernon just left and she was telling us to get our butts out there!

    It’s on the list:-)

    Kami’s last blog post..Happy Halloween

  19. Hannah November 6, 2008 1:18 pm edit

    It’s amazing that you live so close to just amazing stuff! Like old ruins! Wow.
    We do similar activities as a family to give ourselves a “time out” … only we usually head to the beach, which is close to home for us. Sometimes we drive out to the point and go on a little bush walk to a really nice waterfall. The kids like that.

    Hannah’s last blog post..Christmas Envelope Letters

  20. Elaine November 6, 2008 1:22 pm edit

    You have some beautiful photographs in here Angella, and beautiful time with the family as well. We need to go on a “nature” walk like this sometime soon… so fun!

    Elaine’s last blog post..Elaine and Tim Sittin’ in a Tree…

  21. steph h. November 6, 2008 4:12 pm edit

    i am so jealous of your nearby “bunch of concrete foundations in the middle of a tree-lined field.” so envious! those would make a fantastic photo shoot location! think juxtaposition of nature and man-made. love it. i can see a wedding photo shoot “trash the dress” in those ruins.

    time outs? we like to go for coffee; hot chocolate for the toddlergirl. sometimes we’ll do a “pajama ride” in the car after bath/pj’s and we’ll drive thru for a snack (1 timbit) and look at the stars or christmas lights. movies are also a favourite.

    steph h.’s last blog post..bumblebee.

  22. ELizabeth November 6, 2008 4:57 pm edit

    Your old posts are just showing that there is a rhythm to life. Love the photos.

    ELizabeth’s last blog post..Moving Up

  23. Meg November 6, 2008 6:41 pm edit

    Beautiful photos, even better words. I think I’ll be giving my family a time out this weekend. We need it!

    Meg’s last blog post..The comfort of home

  24. mommyknows November 6, 2008 10:03 pm edit

    I love the photos. A family that plays together, stays together.

    mommyknows’s last blog post..We’re all in a Panic! (coffee contest continues)

  25. Michele November 7, 2008 12:52 am edit

    I loved this post…It’s just got that “homey” feeling to it. The photos are great, I love the pancake one – Oh, to be a child again!!! That foundation one is neat too, wouldn’t you love to know who lived there? Have a great weekend!

  26. slynnro November 7, 2008 6:16 am edit

    That second picture is just so great.

    slynnro’s last blog post..I promise, we will return to regularly scheduled programming next week.

  27. The Over-Thinker November 7, 2008 6:24 pm edit

    I love the “Red!” one!! My birthday is coming up (in June)–hint hint!

    I love your family!

    The Over-Thinker’s last blog post..I am an IDIOT & Automatic Flushing Toilets: Machines of the Devil

  28. Terra November 7, 2008 8:35 pm edit

    I can’t believe how many mommies posted about how busy life is this week (myself included) must have been something in the water – anyway – I totally enjoyed this post and glad I found your blog…I found some peace and calm looking at the pictures and wanted to tell you that you have a wonderful family.

    Terra’s last blog post..Is it Friday Yet?

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